Routine Pap smears detect early signs of cervical cancer, which is why it's critical to schedule regular Pap tests. Dr. Miguel Martinez, and the skilled medical team at Femhealth Group, with offices in Miramar and Hialeah, Florida, detect signs of cervical cancer before it becomes serious. Call Femhealth Group to learn more or book an appointment online.
A Pap smear, also known as a Pap test, checks for signs of cervical cancer. Dr. Martinez opens vaginal walls using an instrument called a speculum and scrapes cells from the opening of the cervix (the narrow end of your uterus that opens into the top of your vagina).
Results of your Pap test are sent to a lab for examination. Pap smears are sometimes combined with a human papillomavirus (HPV) test, as HPV commonly causes cervical cancer.
Routine Pap smears detect signs of cervical cancer before it becomes severe, as cervical cancer is almost always preventable. Pap tests detect precancerous cells, which are removed to prevent severe cases of cervical cancer.
About 13,240 new invasive cervical cancer cases are diagnosed yearly in the United States, and more women are diagnosed with precancerous cervical cells.
While you may feel slight pressure when a speculum is inserted during your Pap smear, the procedure itself shouldn’t cause pain and is over quickly. Many women don’t feel any discomfort during Pap tests.
Dr. Martinez lets you know how often to schedule a Pap test. For many women ages 21-65, they may recommend a Pap test every three years.
If you’ve had a previous Pap smear showing pre-cancerous cells, you have HIV, or you have a weak immune system, you might need a Pap smear more often. Dr. Martinez can help you decide what’s best based on your lifestyle and risk factors.
The OB/GYN team of physicians at Femhealth Group recommends not scheduling a Pap test when you have your period. Aim to complete the test 10 to 20 days after the first day of your last menstrual period if you can.
There are several ways to lower your risk of developing cervical cancer, including:
When you’re ready to rule out HPV and cervical cancer, call Femhealth Group to schedule an appointment with Dr. Martinez, or book an appointment online.